Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

6/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Loving my neighbor seems to have gotten a whole lot trickier.

Just how the heck am I supposed to love someone who demands something I cannot give?  How do you love the person who requires you to celebrate their sin or be punished?  How do you love the neighbor you must engage in the battle for our culture?  How do you love the person whose lifestyle you must actively oppose for the sake of protecting what's right?  What does love have to do with all of this?  Everything.  Just not what you might think. There's such a thing as objective truth and it comes from a perfect and unchanging God.  Love tells the objective truth.  It does so as patiently and gently as possible, but it does so without flinching.  Love does not apologize for the truth.  Love will not amend the truth in order to spare someone's feelings.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: homosexuality, sex, same-sex marriage, love, Obama, equality,


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - It seems my choices these days are either:  1. Celebrate homosexuality or be a homophobe.  2. Support the "right" of two men/two women to marry, or be a hateful bigot.  3.  "Do unto others..." or be a hypocrite.

Loving my neighbor seems to have gotten a whole lot trickier.
 
Just how the heck am I supposed to love someone who demands something I cannot give?  How do you love the person who requires you to celebrate their sin or be punished?  How do you love the neighbor you must engage in the battle for our culture?  How do you love the person whose lifestyle you must actively oppose for the sake of protecting what's right?

It's a good question.  WWLD?  (What would love do?)  And what is love, anyway?  What does love have to do with all of this?  Everything.  Just not what you might think.

Mr. Obama now says his opinions about marriage have "evolved" as dictated by his Christian faith and the Golden Rule, and no longer can he deny same-sex couples the "right" to marry.  See that?  In one fell swoop the President, in his infinite wisdom, decreed that all of human history, the Natural law, and the revealed moral law are suddenly contrary to Christian love.  He has determined what "love" really means, and no one can honorably disagree any longer.

I disagree anyway. 

St. Thomas Aquinas said:  "Love is wanting the good of the other, as other."  Love can never want what is bad for the other.  What is good for the other?  The truth.  "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth."   Not the popular truth, or the current truth; not the truth that makes everyone feel good, or the sentimental truth; not the truth that makes people happy and gives them what they want, but the real truth.

There's such a thing as objective truth and it comes from a perfect and unchanging God.  Love tells the objective truth.  It does so as patiently and gently as possible, but it does so without flinching.  Love does not apologize for the truth.  Love will not amend the truth in order to spare someone's feelings.

The sentiment in America today says that love is all about "equality".  If I love this or that person, I will make sure they have all the same rights I have.  I will not deny them what they desire, because that would be discriminatory and mean.  (The exception to this, of course, is the child in the womb.  That person must never be granted equality or any rights whatsoever!)

So now if I really love my neighbor, I will support same-sex "marriage" and stop denying homosexuals the "equality" they are supposedly entitled to.  If I continue to oppose same-sex "marriage" then I must not love my neighbor; I'm a hateful bigot, and I'm ignoring the only thing Jesus ever said -- "Don't judge."

Love has been reduced to tolerance, and tolerance has been warped to mean embracing everything and opposing nothing.   But love that has discarded the truth is not love at all.  It is sinking, mindless, sentimental mush.

WDJS? (What did Jesus say?)

At times I've thought it would have been nice if Jesus, at some point in His three years of teaching, had stood on a hillside and proclaimed, "Amen, I say to you, homosexual sex is a sin.  Two men cannot marry each other; two women cannot marry each other. Marriage shall be a covenant only between a man and a woman.  Anything else, I tell you, is wrong and you shall not do it."  Or something like that.

At least then we could move past the "Jesus never said homosexual sex is sinful" argument.  But He didn't explicitly say those words.  Does that mean Jesus is okay with homosexual sex and same-sex "marriage"?  Hardly.

The same challenge is issued regarding abortion.  "When did Jesus ever say abortion was wrong?"  Well, in so many words, He didn't.  Are we to conclude that He had no opinion, or that He would say women have a "right" to abortion?  Not so fast.

It's a grave mistake, and usually a self-serving manipulation, to say that Jesus' spoken words are the sum total of His teaching and the sole barometer for determining right and wrong.  Jesus is The Word.  His coming into this world speaks volumes about the will of God and the blessing of God and what God considers holy and right.

He did not descend from heaven a grown man (though He certainly could have), but God the Father sent His Son to be born of a woman.  He began His earthly life unseen in Mary's womb.  He grew in exactly the same manner that each of us grew.  He took on our humanity from its very single-celled beginning and declared it holy by virtue of His holiness.  Though Jesus had not uttered a word, yet He taught us that the life in the womb is sacred and human from the moment of conception.

He was born into a family.  If God the Father had chosen, Jesus could have been born to an unmarried woman, or He could have been left as a baby to be found and raised by two men or two women.  God is purposeful and precise in all His ways.  It is not an accident that God gave His Son into a family: husband and wife, father and mother.  This again is a deafening statement on the significance and primacy of the family.  God does not violate His own standards or His own laws.  Children are the fruit of marriage.  By His coming and His birth and His life, Jesus proclaims the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman which forms the only proper foundation of the human family.

Without saying a word, He testifies to the Natural law, the plan for the human person, the holiness of human sexuality, the sanctity of life in the womb, and the nature of marriage.

It's also significant that when Jesus wanted to shake things up, He didn't abolish the moral law and say that this thing that used to be sinful isn't sinful anymore -- no, He actually tightened the moral law by upping the ante.  So, you say adultery is a sin?  Well guess what -- I'm saying that if you even look at a woman lustfully you've committed adultery in your heart!  You've heard, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy', but I tell you to love your enemy!  You say you can give a certificate of divorce and all is well?  Well, I say anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery!

No ambiguity there!  He plainly reminded the people, God "created them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one.'  So they are no longer two but one.  Therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder."  (Matt 19: 4-6)

You know, come to think of it, that sounds an awful lot like a declaration from Jesus that marriage only exists between a man and a woman.  Huh.

The truth is that God does not and cannot join together two men or two women in marriage because He created woman for man and man for woman.  That's how He designed it, and we have neither the power nor the authority to alter His design.  That is so plainly obvious, it's absurd that suddenly saying so out loud qualifies me for the label of Hateful Bigot.

So... WWLD?

I love the truth.  I also desire to love my neighbor.  If loving my neighbor is determined by my willingness to discard what I believe is true, then I will surely come up short.  And I'm okay with that.  I reject the new prevailing definition of charity.

Love is not capitulation to someone else's wants in order not to offend them.  Love bears all things, but it does not include all things.  Love does not take bitter for sweet and it certainly does not call evil good.  Contrary to current thinking, love does not treat all things equally.

Love cannot contradict God.  Since God does not change His mind about sin, I cannot love my neighbor by telling him a particular sin is now magically okay.  Sin never evolves into something righteous.  And here's the thing -- homosexual sex isn't really a "special" sin.  It doesn't require more of Christ's blood than the sins of murder, adultery, stealing, or lying, for instance.  It is noteworthy because it involves a peculiar distortion of human sexuality, and a disordered expression of the sexual love that is the prerogative of marriage.  That's what makes it so harmful to the human person.

Loving the truth does not mean I hate you.  I do hate the rising conflict and cultural upheaval being forced on us right now.  I do hate that human society as it's always been is under threat of dismantling in order to create a new order based not on objective truth or right reason or the common good, but only upon individual wants and "evolving" rights.

I hate the damage being wrought on the family by homosexual activists who want to redefine marriage and sexuality for generations to come; by bullying activists and politicians who want to silence the Church and silence me, and set themselves up as the new moral authority.

I hate the perverse, insidious thinking that says human sexuality is a spectrum reality for people; that gender is some kind of fluid condition or continuum we travel, morphing as we go.

Come what may, I have no choice but to oppose with all my might the redefinition of marriage and the normalization of homosexual sex.  I won't go quietly into this strange new world where marriage and human sexuality look like the twisted images of a carnival house of mirrors.  Love won't let me do that.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children.  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

Cardinal Egan, hero of 9/11, dies at 82 Watch

Image of Cardinal Egan was a heroic man who spoke the truth, no matter what the consequences. May he rest in peace.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Egan of New York has died. Egan, 82, passed away yesterday afternoon in New York as a result of cardiac arrest. Cardinal Egan is well regarded in New York, particularly after his work in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


On the Growing Calls to Put the Death Penalty to Death and the Right to Life Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I applaud the joint editorial of America magazine, the National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor, in standing together in opposition to the death penalty. How about another editorial from the four, opened up to many more ... continue reading


FEDS VS. THE STATE: Who will win in Alabama standoff? Watch

Image of Some civil rights marchers have rejected any comparison between the quest to redefine marriage as a genderless union and the quest by black Americans to obtain their full civil rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual equivalency advocates liken Alabama's defiance of federal authorities on same sex marriage to a similar stance during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing ... continue reading


Remembering Father Alfred Kunz: A Murder Unsolved Watch

Image of I try not to think of how his life ended any more. Rather, I try to remember how he lived. That is because, as a Catholic, I realize how short our lives are. We all will come to an end...sooner or later. What really matters is what we do, in keeping with God's plan, while we are here on this planet. Father Alfred Kunz knew that. He knew why he was here on earth and he made an eternal difference.

By Matt C. Abbott

In the early morning of March 4, 1998, Father Alfred Kunz, a priest and canon lawyer of the Diocese of Madison, Wis., was found brutally murdered in his parish school, St. Michael's, in Dane, Wis. His throat had been slashed. To date-17 years later-the murder ... continue reading


Saved by a sea lion! Suicide leaper from San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge loves to counsel others Watch

Image of Kevin Hines later spoke to a man who had been on the bridge that day. The man informed him that the underwater creature was not a shark - but a sea lion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-three-year-old Kevin Hines was at one time a suicidal teenager who battled mental illness. It first dawned on him that his life served some sort of purpose when in one of his several suicide attempts, he threw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge in San ... continue reading


PM Netanyahu's Clarion Call Watch

Image of Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speech.

By Adele M. Gill

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, as President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sounded a trumpet, a clarion call, for World peace. The message he delivered was cogent and clear: Peace and unity for all ... continue reading


Standing ground: Alabama Supreme Court halts same sex marriages Watch

Image of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has issued opinions saying the probate judges didn't have to heed the federal court rulings to marry gay couples, appeared to be absent from the decision. His name was neither in the concur or dissent portion of the order.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State of Alabama remains adamantly opposed to same sex marriages. The Supreme Court of Alabama has since ordered all the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision is just the latest in a growing legal battle ... continue reading


WHY has heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. quadrupled over the past 15 years? Watch

Image of Heroin overdose death most rapidly in the Midwest, the report said. No explanation was given from the report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once considered the lowest a person could fall, heroin deaths and addiction have quadrupled over the past 15 years. Death rates from heroin overdoses have nearly quadrupled since 2000 to reach 2.7 per 100,000 people in 2013. The National Center for Health ... continue reading


Has Obama destroyed 60 years of friendship? U.S.-Israeli relations frayed after dismissive comments from President Obama Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress on March 3.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his dramatic, and controversial, speech before the U.S. Congress, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the proposed agreement between the U.S. and Iran was "a bad deal" which would not hinder Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


What is she hiding? Hillary Clinton refused to use government email address while Secretary of State Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton did not use an official government email address while she was Secretary of State, potentially violating a law regarding open and free access to official documents.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may have shot herself in the foot; it has been revealed that as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address for official government business, which may be a crime. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-18
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
16 He called down famine on the land, he took away ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 6th, 2015 Image

St. Colette
March 6: Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter